By Sue Moore
“I have eight beautiful children,” said Malissia Chopp, the new owner of what was Mandy’s Candies in Vicksburg. “I decided to name my new endeavor Café 8, after my family. It’s a new beginning for me. I’m changing careers and I wanted it to be a mother/daughter partnership in the store.”
“The idea is to make the shop more of a café, not just a candy shop. We will have a few menu items while we get used to the coffee setup. We have limited kitchen space so we will be working with the Health Department to expand in order to provide food along with the coffee from Water Street Coffee Joint,” Chopp said.
Her daughter, Kristen Thayer was trained by previous owner Mandy Kokales because Chopp was scheduled for surgery at almost the date they signed the purchase agreement. Thayer is expecting a baby in September, so her mom will be in charge during that time.
Chopp has been employed as an event coordinator for 10 years at the Lawton Community Center in her home town. “We felt this store was a great fit for us. It was a great feeling, working with Mandy. Now we plan to restock and offer more of the favorite candies that she sold. In particular the rock candy and throwback candy (retro). We want to acquire some more comfortable furniture for the café portion of the business,” she said. “We love the Water Street coffee that Mandy was serving. We plan to keep that and serve espresso, drip, and frappuccinos.”
The grand opening is set for Saturday, August 27 in conjunction with the scheduled Art Stroll that the Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center is planning. Their hours until then will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. When they re-open on Monday, August 29, they will have extended hours from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The phone number is 269-251-7838.
Chopp’s eight children range in age from 24 to 7, with twins Joshua and Taylor at age 18 in the middle. Along with husband Bob, they are all scheduled to help in different ways with the Café operations.